We’ve seen a lot of Frankenstein films throughout the years, but for this Halloween, we’re only going to look at some of the best of the best.
It’s safe to say that Dr. Frankenstein and his terrifying Monster are two of the most enduring horror film characters ever. A 16-minute short film, Frankenstein, directed by J. Searle Dawley, introduced Mary Shelley’s characters to the public in 1910. Twenty years after that, in 1931, filmmaker James Whale directed the first feature-length adaptation of Shelley’s novel, which starred the great Boris Karloff as the horrific creature.
Throughout the last ninety years, several different studios and film genres have used Frankenstein’s likeness in their productions. The greatest of the best can be found by clicking on the links below.
1. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) 6.8/10
Several attempts were made by Hammer Films after Universal’s first run of Frankenstein movies. According to IMDB, one of Terence Fisher’s most well-received films is 1969’s Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed.
To undertake the first human brain transplant, Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) devises an insane plan to kidnap the deranged Dr. Brandt (George Pravada). Frankenstein’s monster comes to life with the help of Karl (Simon Ward) and Anna (Veronica Carlson), Karl’s fiancee.
2. The Revenge Of Frankenstein (1958) 6.8/10
Terence Fisher directed Peter Cushing in Hammer Films’ The Revenge of Frankenstein more than a decade before Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed.
Following his escape from a public execution, Dr. Frankenstein makes his way to Germany this time around. It begins with the maniac posing as Dr. Victor Stein in order to collect and resurrect body parts from corpses across the country.
3. The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957) 7.1/10
Fisher and Cushing collaborated on The Curse of Frankenstein for the third time, making it their first time working together on a Frankenstein movie.
Victor Frankenstein recounts how he was brought up by Dr. Paul Krempe while imprisoned. Frankenstein brings back to life a dead dog after becoming fascinated with Earth’s biochemistry. Resurrecting a human body (Christopher Lee) ups the stakes for Frankenstein, who inadvertently puts his cousin Elizabeth in danger (Hazel Court).
4. Son Of Frankenstein (1939) 7.1/10
It is Boris Karloff who plays a hideous killer in Universal’s Son of Frankenstein, the vengeful heir to Dr. Frankenstein’s fortunes (Basil Rathbone).
Baron Frankenstein tries to restore his family’s reputation by raising the monster and bringing him back to health as he lies dormant in the doctor’s castle. When his father’s aide and medical notes, Ygor (Bela Lugosi), revives the monster from his coma, he kills the townfolk with a vengeance.
5. The Monster Squad (1987) 7.1/10
When Frankenstein’s Monster (Tom Noonan) regretfully dumps a young girl into a pond in the original film, Fred Dekker parodies on the character’s melancholy melancholy.
The Monster Squad is a group of pre-teen horror fans that band together to save the world from the likes of Count Dracula, Wolfman, The Mummy, Gillman, and the Frankenstein’s Monster after their sleepy town is overrun.
6. Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) 7.4/10
abraham and costello First in a series of films in which Bud Abbott and Lou Costello “meet” monsters from Universal’s legendary monster movie lineup, “Meet Frankenstein” is the first.
One of the actors, Costello, is fooled by the villainous Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi) in order to kidnap his brain and use it in the creation of Frankenstein’s Monster (Glenn Strange). It’s up to the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.) to save the day before it’s too late for the porter’s companion.
7. Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) 7.8/10
In the four years since the original Frankenstein picture, Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and garnered an equally positive reception.
Both Colin Clive and Boris Karloff reprise their roles as Dr. Henry Frankenstein and the film’s terrifying monster. With Dr. Pretorious (Ernest Thesiger) as his go-to guy, the mad scientist can finally find the wife for his favorite monster and make it happen. The Monster’s Mate, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is eventually built by the two as they collect human body parts (Elsa Lanchester).
8. Frankenstein (1931) 7.8/10
James Whale’s original Frankenstein is the highest-rated Universal franchise entry ever, according to IMDB, with a 100% Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating and a 91/100 Metascore.
To bring the dead back to life, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) uses various corpses’ reanimated body parts to create a series of lethal unintended consequences. He goes on an unrestrained death march when Frankenstein’s Monster (Boris Karloff) is successfully awakened. He is hunted down with pitchforks by the townfolk.
9. The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973) 7.9/10
One of the most unusual and esoteric film titles on this list, The Spirit of the Beehive tells the story of a young girl who is haunted by the ghosts of the original Frankenstein.
Set in 1940, the drama begins when a traveling theater presents James Whale’s Frankenstein to the small Spanish village. A seven-year-old girl, Ana (Ana Torrent), is emotionally disturbed after watching the film and sets out to discover the monster with her sister Isabel (Isabel Telleria).
10. Young Frankenstein (1974) 8.0/10
No other picture starring the mad doctor and bolt-necked ghoul rates higher on IMDB than Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein is played by Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle is played by Peter Boyle, and Marty Feldman is played by Marty Feldman as Igor.
Frederick Frankenstein, the proud grandson of Henry Frankenstein, returns to Transylvania to demonstrate his father’s healthy mental health. Upon arrival, he discovers the technique of reanimating the dead, inspiring him to carry on the legacy of his grandfather. It’s not just Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn), Frau Blucher, and Inga (Terrence Garr) that face peril when the Monster is born.